Please note, this post will contain spoilers. Big spoilers. Spoil. Alert. Further, it will talk about spoiler alerts and about participating on social media during television viewing. So this post contains a lot of spoiling. And alerting.
I'm a huge fan of The Good Wife, so tonight's episode rocked my world. The surprise murder of Will, in such a gruesome way, was an explosive and emotional television moment. Oh, Kalinda. The shoe. The sheet. The music. The Diane/Alicia hug. I mean, if Eli Gold's eyes don't win an Emmy for Expressing on Behalf of Millions of Viewers Our Need for a Hug, I don't know what to say.
Willicia in better times. Sob. Image via CBS.
When big things happen like this to major characters, it's become natural to want to share the experience with other fans via social media, to process, to play along or to get that virtual hug. Networks increasingly promote the social interaction viewers crave anyway, and the stars, writers, clothing and set designers and other insiders of many shows encourage it and play along. The Good Wife is one such show, and Josh Charles himself is a lot of fun to follow during episode. Or at least he used to be. (Sob!)
Many stunned and bereaved The Good Wife viewers took to Twitter and Facebook to process the bombshell loss--much to the consternation of their West Coast friends. Their East Coast friends who save The Good Wife in their DVRs for another day or who are behind in viewing weren't too happy either.
So here's the thing. When is it okay to talk about television?
- Is it okay to enjoy participatory television entertainment, time zones be damned? Is it fair to say that if you don't want spoilers, it's your own responsibility to stay off of social media during the airing times of shows where social participation is encouraged?
- Should we hold off until all continental time zones see a show? Wait until the next day?
- Or is it bigger than that? What about viewers who aren't caught up at all, or are just beginning a series? When we talk on social about major plot twists, are we overall ruining the series for new or potential viewers?
- What about Netflix series that drop entire seasons on one day. Should we wait a week to discuss bombshells to be ethical? Ten hours per eight hours of viewing? Never?
These questions are running parallel in my mind along with my need to talk about Will. I need to talk about what will happen now in this show I love. I need to talk with other fans about the writers' choices and about how it all went down. I need to talk about how Nancy Botwin has essentially ruined two shows now with her lousy parenting. I need to talk about Alicia.
When can I do that? Can we do that now?
And fans of The Good Wife, #TeamWill, those of you who called Will your TV boyfriend and good shippers of the Willicia variety one and all: Are you okay?
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